What Do You Eat Around The World?

October 8, 2023, Split Croatia

Before leaving this trip, one of the most asked questions I got from people was, what do you eat there? I thought it was a bizarre question. Because anyone who has traveled knows you can get almost any type of food in any significant city in the world.

I came up with a smart-ass answer to give them… Camel testicles and seaweed.

Travelers realize the world has much more in common than you might think. If you are at an oasis in the middle of the Sahara desert, you might find different things to eat. But I don’t know.

When I traveled by bus through Turkey, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria, the roadside stores sold the same types of food. Such as…

  • Doritos
  • Potato chips
  • Pretzels
  • Chewing gum
  • Coke
  • Pepsi
  • Juice
  • Milk

To name a few.

Every major city in these countries had McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC stores, and other types of fast food.

Everywhere I go, I find the same foods as you get in the United States. They have eggs and sausage for breakfast. You can buy a burger and fries for lunch. Steak, fish, and chicken dishes are available almost anywhere for dinner.

They’re cooked differently with different spices. But it’s the same everywhere. French and American pastries taste different but have the same essential ingredients.

Granted, you won’t be able to buy a pork sandwich in Muslim countries, but besides that, people eat the same thing everywhere. And actually, it’s been like this for a long, long time.

And for those who like historical details, here’s a simple guide to what people have done for thousands of years, courtesy of Wikipedia. (some links included).

Fishing

Fishing is an ancient practice that dates back to at least the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic period, about 40,000 years ago. A 40,000-year-old modern human from eastern Asia has shown that he regularly consumed freshwater fish.

Discarded fish bones and cave paintings show that seafood was essential for survival and consumed in significant quantities. Neanderthals were fishing by about 200,000 BC.

During this period, most people lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and were, of necessity, constantly on the move. However, where there are early examples of permanent settlements (though not necessarily permanently occupied), they are almost always associated with fishing as a significant food source.

Plant Domestication

The first evidence of plant domestication comes from wheat found in Neolithic villages in Southwest Asia. They’re dated from 10,500 to 10,100 BC. The Fertile CrescentEgypt, and India were sites of the earliest planned sowing and harvesting of plants.

Agriculture developed independently in several places at different times. The eight Neolithic founder crops (emmer wheateinkorn wheatbarleypeaslentilsbitter vetchchickpeas, and flax) appeared by about 7000 BC.

Animal Domestication

During the Neolithic period, humans started domesticating animals. Remains of animal bones at Neolithic sites tell us animals like oxenpigs, and sheep were a regular supply of meat, and the herders were able to keep well fed.

Animal domestication in the Neolithic period, like plant domestication, involved artificial selection: how humans bred certain species based on the characteristics they desired to pass on to the next generation. In this way, humans domesticated dogs, sheep, goats, and cattle, which, over time, became distinct from their wild ancestors and relatives.

So there you have it. If you ever were worried about what you eat worldwide, now you have a basic guide. People eat the same food worldwide.

And the more you travel, the more you realize how small the world is.

Till next time, enjoy life’s journey.

Joe O’Brien

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